If you've chosen to subject yourself to the crazy world of online dating in the 21st century—likely through the chaotic medium of dating apps—then first off, we'd like to say sorry you're going through that! As easy as dating apps seem in theory, actually making them work for you is another story.
Navigating dating apps doesn't have to be a painful process, though! Lots of people find love on dating apps (or at least temporary love for the night, we don't judge). If you want to be one of those people who gets to tell their grandchildren in 50 years that you met your husband on Tinder, here are a few helpful tips for how to make dating apps work for you.
Choose Up-To-Date Photos
You know the feeling of scrolling through someone's profile, looking through four or five pictures, but by the time you get to the end, you're still not sure what the person actually looks like? Make sure you're not that person for someone else.
Choose photos that are recent, and make sure you have a variety of pictures. If you don't have any recent photos, that little phone you're probably reading this on has one for you to use.
Also, avoid being the person who only has a profile of group photos. No one wants to play Where's Waldo? while they try to decipher which person the profile is actually for.
And Put Your Best Picture First
As much as we would like to think that every person is going to take the time to read your entire profile and scroll through all your photos, they probably won't. When choosing the order of your photos, pick your best one first. At least half the people who are swiping past are going to be only looking at the first photo.
Pick The Right App, Not The Most Popular One
It may seem overwhelming that there are so many different dating apps to choose from, especially considering they all do the same thing, right? That's your mistake!
Sure, at the base level, they all do the same thing, but anyone who has used Tinder vs. Bumble vs. Plenty of Fish vs. Raya vs. Hinge can explain the differences to you. What people are looking for also might differ depending on what app they're using, which is why it's important to pick the right one for you.
If you've received one too many creepy messages on Tinder, maybe you want to try switching to Bumble where the women have to message first! Or if you're tired of weeding through profiles that consist of one photo and no bio, Hinge might be the better fit for you. Give a couple of different apps a try before you rule them out completely.
Be Honest About Yourself And What You Want
You only have one chance to make a first impression, so you should actually put some thought into all those pesky questions apps like to ask you during the setup process. Being honest with yourself about what you're looking for and being clear about that with anyone you're talking to will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Don't be the person who says that they're looking for something casual when really they're looking for a relationship, but they think that they'll be able to convert a hookup situation into a lifelong love. If you want a relationship, say that. If you want to keep it casual, that's cool too, just make sure you're upfront about it!
Keep Your Profile Short And Snappy
No one is going on Tinder to read your life story in your bio. For many people, a bio that is too long or too detailed can actually be a turnoff if they're not looking for that kind of commitment.
If you want your matches to actually start a conversation with you, make it easy for them! Put a few things in your bio that someone could reference when trying to send you that dreaded opening message. Maybe you have an exciting hobby or you have a passionate, burning hatred for avocados; the hill that you're prepared to die on is a great starting place for a conversation.
Take The Time To Tailor The Opening Message
You're going to have a lot more success with dating apps if you take the time to send a unique opening message to each person you match with. "Hey how's it going?" might get you a response 25% of the time, but your chances of getting a reply are much higher if you reference something they mentioned in their profile.
Some people prefer to go the route of asking controversial or funny questions like "pineapple on pizza—yay or nay?" You might get more responses, but it can be difficult to continue the conversation from there.
Opening with something that they talked about in their profile or had a photo of is going to set you up for success.
Don't Be Too Quick To Rule Someone Out
We're not suggesting that you swipe right on every single profile in hopes that one of them might be the person you've been dreaming of. What we are saying, though, is that you should try not to be too quick to judge.
It's easy to get sucked into the fun of the app and treat it like a game, but remember that you're also looking at real people. Think about what you would do if you came across the same man in public, at a grocery store or coffee shop. Would you want to talk to him, or would you still not be interested?